Zart und Singend
Number of parts / Instrumentation
6 parts; Flute 1 & Piccolo, Flute 2, Flute 3, Alto Flute, Bass Flute, Contrabass Flute.
About the piece
A sleep-inducing rock-a-bye cradle song, if not programmatic, than at least evocative of exactly that. This
intriguing piece by Beach is deeply unsettling and has an intense emotional effect. The title immediately
suggest a scenario — a lonely mother singing a lullaby while rocking a cradle. Perhaps the mother’s child
died, yet she still rocks an empty cradle and sings to her dead child. The most eerie part of this piece,
however, may be the saturation of chromaticism throughout its entirety and the sickly plummeting feeling it
creates. The chromatic triplets in the middle section creep up and down with no harmonic relation to the
melody, creating a ghostly sensation, just as a ghost isn’t tethered to Earth or the world of the living. This
arrangement, based on the original piano piece, is scored for 6 flutes; 3 c-flutes (one changing to piccolo), alto
flute, bass flute and contrabass flute.
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